Monday, September 12, 2011

Where Are All the Smiling Faces?

I was at work Sunday and was getting a bit tired of the crankiness so I decided to pose a question to many of my customers.

"What made you happy this morning (or afternoon as the day wore on)?"

I was hoping to be able to watch them mentally revisit their happy place, watch their joy unfold. That's not exactly how it went.

79% (give or take. I didn't keep track of the actual numbers) said waking up that morning. Just being alive. Not the most exciting answer but at least they felt appreciative of their life.

20% responded, "Nothing." Nothing? Really? Is that even possible? How do you continue to get out of bed if there is nothing that is making you happy?

And the last 1%? They were specific. Things like waking up with their grandchildren that morning or their overwhelming enthusiasm with God.

I said earlier that my goal had been to watch them revisit their happiness. It was also to get them thinking about what constitutes happiness. Is it a million dollars or, as my neighbor said, the smell of fresh perked coffee? A brand new car or listening to happy children in the kitchen?

Don't get me wrong, I would be happy with either sides of those questions above. Equally happy. Because there is no happiness sliding scale. It's all even.

And all good.


Kate said...

What a cool way to pass the time at work. I'm trying to think how I would answer if you had asked me today...

Since I've been wallowing in a bit of sadness the last few days, I'll have to say that right now, it would have to be the smell of a pot roast cooking on the stove on a brisk early evening. Food is always an easy answer..

Misfit in Paradise said...

Pot roast is never the wrong answer!

L.D. said...

Love that you did that little survey. I generally wake up a malcontent and warm into some sort of gratitude after I get away from the computer and go ride my bike or laugh out loud.